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Senate backs deployment of soldiers to highways

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—DEPUTY Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, said yesterday that the Senate will support the recent proposal by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to deploy soldiers to the highway in different parts of the country  to curtail  escalating wave of insecurity.

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He also advised the security apparatus in Zamfara State, especially the Commissioner of Police, to justify the adequate provision of funding and equipment to the command and stop the rampaging bandits from wasting innocent lives.

Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Omo-Agege said ordinarily, the police were to maintain internal security but noted that if the deployment of soldiers would put an end to the high rate of insecurity in the polity with its attendant waste of lives, the Senate would support it.

Recall that Osinbajo had, weekend, canvassed deployment of soldiers to the nation’s highways to stave killing of travellers by bandits, armed robbers and kidnappers.

Fielding questions from journalists on whether the Senate would buy the vice president’s position, Omo-Agege said:  “Absolutely. On a good day, it is not something we would encourage because as much as possible you will want to keep the military in the barracks but because of the exigencies of the moment, we have no choice but to encourage that.

“Nigerians need to be assured of their safety at all times, that is the essence of governance as guaranteed by the constitution.

“Therefore, as canvassed and, indeed, ordered by the vice president, that we have the army provide security at the check points, if that will go along way to prevent this kidnapping and banditry, why not?”

Noting that the Senate had taken a position on the banditry in the northern part of the country, Omo-Agege said:  “We are not happy, like most Nigerians, about what is going on in places, especially Zamfara.

‘’We believe the head of the security architecture in Zamfara, being the commissioner of police, can do more than they have already done.”

“We are encouraging them to do that because Mr. President has provided everything that ought to be given to them, everything in terms of funding received, in terms of acquisition of weaponry, have been provided for them.  It is now left for them to justify the positions they hold in Zamfara, and other states, of course.”

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